UNISON Members say a very clear NO to the mandatory unpaid leave!
Published on 10 January 2019 by Suffolk County UNISON
The number of responses to the most recent UNISON survey on the SCC pay cut was genuinely overwhelming. For this we thank you. But in addition to this, when you take a look at the results (attached), you will see that in terms of what you told us, it is very clear that we are undivided. A massive 95% of us will not accept 1 days mandatory unpaid leave.
It may sound cheesy, but we’ll say it anyway because it is true: We are proud of each one of you that responded and told us very clearly that enough is enough, and that we cannot accept a pay cut.
What did SCC have to say about this?
UNISON met with SCC on Monday and shared the results of the survey. Despite us having prepared them for the worst before Christmas, it is fair to say that SCC appeared genuinely surprised by the fact that we are all saying a very clear NO to the proposed pay cut. We again reiterated the following at the meeting:
- SCC staff – unlike any other Council in Suffolk – have experienced years of no incremental progression.
- The cost of living percentage increase will be on our salaries that have been frozen in our grades for years
- SCC chose to only apply the unpaid leave pay cut to Single Status and JNC staff rather than across all of SCC so it would only save a measly £250k? Is it worth antagonising 95% of us for this amount of money? When we believe morale is already so low? When there are adequate funds in the reserves to cover this amount?
- We stressed repeatedly to SCC that a ballot that included any Unpaid leave will be rejected by UNISON members - The only option for SCC is to ditch this pay cut altogether.
So what happens next?
SCC is considering all the information we have shared with them and are reviewing whether they will include the pay cut in the final offer to UNISON members. We expect to be told the outcome of this at our next meeting on Wednesday 16th January.
The two possible outcomes we could hear at this meeting are:
- SCC drop the proposal to cut our pay. This is what we are hoping for as it would mean that by all standing together and standing up to SCC, we had achieved our aim - To make SCC realise that we will not be bullied into footing the bill for inadequate funding from Central Government or for blowing the budget at SCC.
2. SCC ignore everything that we have told them and maintain that unpaid leave is essential, that it is fair and that it is not a pay cut for staff.
Please understand that the fight is not over if this happens. We would proceed to a postal ballot and we will again vote en masse and with an undivided voice to Reject the pay cut. Our campaign would escalate and with continued support from UNISON at a Regional and also at a National level we would continue to stand up for our terms and conditions.
SCC expect us to give in. They expect us to take whatever they throw at us, but we cannot.
And talking of further attacks to our terms and conditions at SCC...
You might be interested to know that it’s not just monthly deductions to pay which SCC are trying to inflict on us.
In addition, to this UNISON is also in the process of challenging
- Changes relating to sickness absence which SCC feel they can make with no consultation
- Changes to the parking you can claim for
- No paid time off or sick leave for medical appointments
SCC is chipping away at us and hope that we will accept it all.
If we don’t stand up to them now what will it be next?
Thank you once again for making a stand. Thank you for reading this far! We have proved that we are strong when we are united. We will be in touch as soon as we have an update for you.
Suffolk County UNISON Branch